Career and Education Opportunities for Gas Plant Operators in Charleston, South Carolina
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for gas plant operators in the Charleston, South Carolina area. About 150 people are currently employed as gas plant operators in South Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 25% to about 180 people employed. This is better than the national trend for gas plant operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 4.2% over the next eight years. In general, gas plant operators distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.
Income for gas plant operators is about $21 hourly or $45,580 per year on average in South Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $26 per hour or $55,760 per year. Incomes for gas plant operators are better than in the overall category of Chemical and Gas in South Carolina, and better than the overall Chemical and Gas category nationally.
There are fourteen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a gas plant operator. Gas plant operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a gas plant operator if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Gas Plant Operator
In general, gas plant operators distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.
Gas plant operators adjust temperature and/or transfer of gas to maintain processes at required levels or to fix problems. They also start and shut down plant equipment. Equally important, gas plant operators have to record and compile operations records and gauge readings such as temperatures and flows. They are often called upon to monitor equipment functioning and flow gauges, and perform regular unit checks, in order to insure that all equipment is operating as it should. They are expected to clean and repair equipment, using hand tools, or request that repair and maintenance work be performed. Finally, gas plant operators control operation of compressors and refrigeration equipment so as to liquefy or regasify natural gas.
Every day, gas plant operators are expected to be able to focus on a single sound in a noisy environment. They need to imediately see the relationships between collections of numbers, images, and patterns.
It is important for gas plant operators to test gas and air during processing to gauge factors such as purity and moisture content, and to uncover quality problems or gas or chemical leaks. They are often called upon to decide on causes of abnormal pressure variances, and make corrective recommendations, such as installation of pipes to relieve overloading. They also monitor transportation and storage of flammable and other potentially dangerous products to insure that safety guidelines are followed. They are sometimes expected to change charts in recording meters. Somewhat less frequently, gas plant operators are also expected to start and shut down plant equipment.
Gas plant operators sometimes are asked to calculate gas ratios to uncover deviations from specifications, using testing apparatus. They also have to be able to control fractioning columns and related equipment so as to extract nitrogen and oxygen from air and signal or direct staff who tend auxiliary equipment. And finally, they sometimes have to control fractioning columns and related equipment so as to extract nitrogen and oxygen from air.
Like many other jobs, gas plant operators must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:
- Petroleum Refinery Worker. Control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.
- Power Plant Operator. Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Gas Plant Operator Training
Trident Technical College - Charleston, SC
Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29423-8067. Trident Technical College is a large college located in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,758 students. Trident Technical College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is situated in Charleston County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 111,978, which has grown by 15.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston cost $157,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, five hundred eight new homes were built in Charleston, down from eight hundred seventy-eight the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 37.5% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.9%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Charleston is 10.5%, which is less than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.
The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Plymouth Congregational Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Charleston is home to the United State Department of Agriculture and the The Center as well as Harmon Field and Stoney Field. Shopping malls in the area include Church Creek Plaza Shopping Center, Citadel Mall Shopping Center and South Windermere Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from French Quarter Inn, Fulton Lane Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.